Members of the local cruise ship committee are optimistic that the 2022 season will be good for the port of Pictou and the surrounding area.
Michelle Young, who represents the town of Pictou and co-chairs the committee, discussed the group’s plans in a virtual presentation to Stellarton City Council at its regular monthly meeting on June 14.
She said there were 24 cruise ship calls on the waterfront in Pictou which included 6,200 passengers and crew until cruise ship tours in Canada were halted in 2020 and this year due to current pandemic restrictions. The first cruise stopover took place in September 2012.
Passengers spent an average of nearly $ 80 per visit, while crew members spent nearly $ 90, she said with reference to the economic benefits of cruise ship tours.
Entertainment by local artists is offered between cruise ship arrivals and departures, while some board the ships in Halifax or Charlottetown before they arrive in Pictou.
“We try to leave lasting memories for the passengers,” she said. “The feedback we have had is tremendous.
The federal decision to impose a complete halt to cruise ship visits to Canadian ports was imposed in early 2020 and is expected to end on February 28, 2022.
Four cruise stopovers to Pictou are scheduled for 2022 and 2023, she said.
Young’s slide presentation included an overview of the cruise committee and its partners, the impact of the pandemic on the cruise ship industry locally and globally, as well as future plans.
Other committee members include New Glasgow representative and co-chair, Thivjan Tharma, Coun. Dan Currie of Pictou, Paige Clarke on behalf of the City of Stellarton, General Manager DEANS Cindy MacKinnon, Coun. Peter Boyles from the Municipality of the County of Pictou, Julie Fulton from Pictou MarineTerminals, Denise Taylor from the Museum of Industry and members of the Pictou Business and Marketing Society Rob Christie and Murray Porter.
Plans to reopen include exploring the creation of a dedicated cruise coordinator to promote Pictou County as a cruise destination, as well as developing better communications and safe opening according to government requirements as that the pandemic abates.
“We got to a point where we just kept doing the same thing,” Young said. “We’re at a point where we need someone to focus on (the cruise ship industry). “
She said small ports like Pictou will be an attractive destination for cruise ships.
“People will feel safe,” she said. “Other than that, we could see some growth. “